Exon splicing enhancers (ESEs) overlap with amino acid coding sequences implying a dual evolutionary selective pressure. In this study, we map ESEs in the placental alkaline phosphatase gene (ALPP), absent in the corresponding exon of the ancestral tissue-non-specific alkaline phosphatase gene (ALPL). The ESEs are associated with amino acid differences between the transcripts in an area otherwise conserved. We switched out the ALPP ESEs sequences with the sequence from the related ALPL, introducing the associated amino acid changes. The resulting enzymes, produced by cDNA expression, showed different kinetic characteristics than ALPL and ALPP. In the organism, this enzyme will never be subjected to selection because gene splicing analysis shows exon skipping due to loss of the ESE. Our data prove that ESEs restrict the evolution of enzymatic activity. Thus, suboptimal proteins may exist in scenarios when coding nucleotide changes and consequent amino acid variation cannot be reconciled with the splicing function.